November 27, 2022

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Study: The height of the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs was 4 kilometers

Study: The height of the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs was 4 kilometers

SciencesOct 8 ’22 08:12Updated Oct 8 ’22 12:11pmauthor: Jeroen Langfield

The meteorite that struck the Earth 66 million years ago, heralding the end of the dinosaurs, caused a massive tsunami. That’s according to new research from the American Journal of Geophysical Union. Geologist Rob van den Berg of Naturalis and space expert at Sonnenborgh now sees that the magnitude of the tsunami was “enormous.”

66 million years ago, a 4-kilometre-long meteorite smashed into what is now Mexico. “The impact was massive, 75 percent of life ended,” van den Berg says. According to the geologist, at the time of the impact, there was a “shallow tropical sea” at the site of Mexico, which gave rise to a “huge” tsunami.

Today, the magnitude of tsunamis is measured with computer-generated models. According to van den Berg, the wave height turned out to be four kilometers. “Because North and South America were still separate at the time, a tsunami could travel around the world,” van den Berg continues.

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Effects

According to the geologist, the sea receded completely with the impact. “There were huge currents that wiped out life in the sea.” In addition to marine life, all dinosaurs also disappeared from land, paving the way, according to Van den Berg, for the arrival of mammals. “Suddenly many places became available where mammals could evolve.”

Today, the magnitude of tsunamis is measured with computer-generated models. According to van den Berg, the calculation showed that the wave height is four kilometers. (ANP / Nico Garstmann)
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